According to Gallup’s latest annual Work and Education poll, 40% of US workers are worried that their job benefits will be cut in the near future. Only 28% are worried about pay cuts or losing their jobs and 26% are concerned that their hours will be reduced. Just 9% are worried that their jobs may be moved overseas.
In the 2009 poll, some 46% of US workers were concerned about losing their benefits, while 32% were worried about a salary cut. Only 27% were worried that their hours would be cut back and 31% were worried about losing their jobs. Gallup noted at the time that all of these were record highs since the poll was first taken in 1997.
This year’s poll also showed that college graduates were less concerned about all these issues than their less well-educated fellow workers. Benefits reductions weighed on 42% of non-graduates as opposed to 36% of graduates. Wage reductions and cutbacks in work hours also weighed more heavily on the minds of non-graduates.
Back in 2009, Gallup noted:
For the most part, American workers have never expressed a large degree of worry about these types of job-related setbacks, so the sharp increases in worry — even though this still represents the minority of U.S. workers — is notable.
And though the numbers are down, they remain high. What is most notable in 2012’s survey is that worries over pay cuts are actually higher than in 2009, and that the percentage of Americans who fear losing their jobs hasn’t improved all that much. In 2008, only 15% of US workers were worried about losing their jobs, compared with 31% in 2009 and 28% this year.
If this is progress, it’s very modest progress and it’s moving at a snail’s pace.